Jonny Bairstow on his cheeky headbutt celebration: It's all light-hearted
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow plays down cheeky headbutt celebration after scoring his first Ashes ton at WACA; says he did not plan it
England's Jonny Bairstow played down his light-hearted celebration yesterday after he welcomed his Ashes century by mimicking a headbutt - a reference to a controversy which threatened to overshadow his series. After the fist-pumping and jumping for joy at the WACA, he threw in a light-hearted and spontaneous head-butt of the helmet he had just taken off - revisiting the unusual greeting he imparted to Australia opener Cameron Bancroft at the start of the tour.
England's Jonny Bairstow celebrates his ton against Australia on Day Two of the third Ashes Test at WACA in Perth yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
That bar-room prank ended up causing an unwitting Bairstow plenty of consternation, of course - but, as he added his century to Dawid Malan's on a fluctuating second day of the third Test, he demonstrated it has not cost him his sense of humour.
It was only when he got caught up in the celebration that he bumped his forehead on his helmet. "That was a bit of light-hearted fun, wasn't it, with everything that's gone on?" he added. "I'd not thought about (doing it). It was a whole heap of emotions, and that's exactly what Ashes cricket, what Test cricket, is about. "You want to be able to look back when you've retired, and say to your kids, your grandkids, 'I made an Ashes hundred at the WACA'. It meant a huge amount. We talk about a badge of honour, when you're out there in the dirt on a flat one... but this was a badge of honour for Malan and me."
England went on to lose their last six wickets for 35 to finish 403 all. Bairstow (119) nonetheless had much reason for personal satisfaction after he and Malan (140) pushed their double-century fifth-wicket stand into Ashes record territory.
'My favourite ton'
"This hundred in many ways was my favourite, because obviously I've played in a few Ashes so far now," the Yorkshireman said. "To score an Ashes hundred is something you dream about as a kid, and it's eluded me until now." Australian captain Steve Smith again proved to be a major obstacle as England wasn't able to capitalise on their overnight momentum.
Smith ensured the match was evenly poised at the end of Day Two. At stumps Australia were 203 for three, with Smith on 92 and Shaun Marsh on seven, a deficit of 200 runs with seven wickets in hand.
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